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Record Number of Students Seek Degrees at 136th Commencement

Contact: Ralph Derickson

The speaker for UK's Commencement will be Mary Sue Coleman, a former UK faculty member, who was recently installed as the 13th president of the University of Michigan. A native of Richmond, Ky., Coleman previously served seven years as president of the University of Iowa.

Link here to daily schedules:
Friday, May 9
Saturday, May 10
Saturday, May 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Jonathan Dewaal "Finn" Green
Jonathan Dewaal "Finn" Green

 

Photo of Curtis William Absher
Curtis William Absher

 

Photo of Joseph Chappell
Joseph Chappell

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Dale Bauer
Dale Bauer

 

 

 

Photo of Robin Theresa Petroze
Robin Theresa Petroze

 

 

 

May 5, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- A record number of students – 4,148 – have applied for degrees to be awarded at the University of Kentucky's 136th Commencement, set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in Memorial Coliseum.

The speaker for UK's Commencement will be Mary Sue Coleman, a former UK faculty member, who was recently installed as the 13th president of the University of Michigan. A native of Richmond, Ky., Coleman previously served seven years as president of the University of Iowa.

A graduate of Grinnell College with a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina, Coleman was a professor in the UK Department of Biochemistry for 19 years. She also served as an assistant director for administration for the UK Markey Cancer Center, where her research focused on the immune system and malignancies.

Coleman will be among three persons to receive honorary degrees at the 2003 Commencement. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. The other honorary doctorate recipients are William S. Farish, U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James, United Kingdom, and Michael Lee Mullins, who has served more than 25 years as executive director of the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Ky. Farish will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree and Mullins will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degrees.

The student speaker for the Commencement is Carissa Lee Curry, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Curry, of Flatwoods, Ky., is a graduate of Raceland-Worthington High School in Raceland, Ky.

Curry works at the Crestwood Christian School in Lexington, where she introduced a Spanish program.

Among her many honors, Curry won a Junior Achievement Best Speech award and a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) state championship, and represented Kentucky in a national FBLA competition. For seven years, she has volunteered with the Salvation Army to ring bells during the holiday season as well as with the Elks Lodge soup kitchen in Lexington.

In other volunteer action, Curry taught Special Olympics tumbling classes and volunteered at the Lexington Humane Society.

Other awards and honors to be presented at Commencement include three Sullivan Medallions, which are presented for outstanding public service to an individual not associated with UK, a graduating male student, and a graduating female student.

This year's Sullivan Medallion recipients are Andrea Joy Murray, the female graduate; Jonathan Dewaal "Finn" Green, the male graduate; and Curtis William Absher, the non-student.

Murray will be recognized for volunteering in both community and campus activities, including a recent campuswide project offering free AIDS testing. She was a founder and leader of Girls for Christ, a mentoring program for young women. She has assisted with a club for middle school boys and girls at the Bluegrass Youth for Christ Inc.'s neighborhood center on Trent Boulevard. She also has been involved with a Lexington agency's crime prevention program that builds relationships between police officers and young people.

Green, an older, non-traditional student, will be recognized for his fund-raising efforts on behalf of renovations for the UK men's baseball facilities. Equally important was his decision to come to UK after a business failure and successful recovery from alcoholism. Green documented both his and his daughter's struggles as part of an undergraduate research project that was published last fall in Kaleidoscope, a journal of undergraduate scholarship published by the UK Department of Undergraduate Studies. He is a Gaines Fellow and a member of the UK Honors Program. He completed his degree requirements in December.

Absher, who retired in November after 34 years of service in UK's Cooperative Extension Program, will be recognized for his work with Bosnian refugee families, Hispanics in Jessamine County, and Habitat for Humanity. Absher was a founding member of the Jessamine County Education Foundation.

In addition to the three Sullivan Medallion winners, two other members of the UK community will receive special recognition at the May 10 Commencement with awards for research, scholarship and community service.

Joseph Chappell, professor of agricultural biotechnology, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, will receive the 2003 Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize, a $5,000 award for distinguished research on plant metabolism and enzyme engineering. For seven years, Chappell has focused on genetically engineering plants to resist bacterial and fungal pathogens, establishing himself as a leading expert in the nation.

Chappell's research has been published in more than 45 research publications, including Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on editorial boards of Plant Physiology and Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics and has been an associate editor of Plant Physiology. He also has served on the executive committee of the American Society of Plant Physiologists, and organized and co-chaired the eighth International Congress on Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for the United States and Mexico.

Dale Bauer, professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences, will receive the $2,000 William B. Sturgill Award which is presented to a graduate faculty member each year for outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK.

Bauer was nominated by three students in The Graduate School for being "unwaveringly enthusiastic and committed to academic excellence… She is an amazing scholar, teacher and mentor." Her peers call her "enthusiastic, supportive, savvy and extremely helpful, while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and effort from students." Bauer received the William J. Tuggle and Nina B. Tuggle Research Professorship in English in 2002.

Among the record number of students who will receive degrees at Commencement are UK's first two graduating Beckman Scholars -- Robin Theresa Petroze and Garrett Sparks. These scholars each will receive not one, but two degrees. Petroze will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry with a minor in English. Sparks will graduate with Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Last year, Petroze and Sparks received the first Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation scholarships awarded by UK. These prestigious scholarships provide funding of $17,600 to support undergraduate work of students conducting research in chemistry, biochemistry, biological and medical sciences over the course of 14 months.

Lexington Community College’s Commencement is set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 9 in Memorial Coliseum. About 600 graduates will hear Helen Thomas, a Hearst newspaper columnist who served for 57 years as a correspondent for United Press International and was White House bureau chief. She is a native of Winchester, Ky.

Many special ceremonies are held in conjunction with UK Commencement. Those ceremonies are as follows:

FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2003
1 p.m., College of Nursing, graduate student recognition and reception, Singletary Center for the Arts.
4 p.m., Army ROTC, commissioning ceremony, Memorial Hall.
4 p.m., College of Law, recognition, Singletary Center for the Arts.
4 p.m., International student reception, Teague Courtyard, Ralph G. Anderson Building.
6 p.m., Air Force ROTC, commissioning ceremony, Memorial Hall.
7 p.m., Lexington Community College, Commencement Ceremony and reception, Memorial Coliseum.
7 p.m., College of Pharmacy, recognition and reception, Singletary Center for the Arts.
7 p.m., College of Nursing, BSN pinning and reception, Grand Ballroom, Student Center.
7 p.m., Honors Program, reception, OVID'S Cafe at William T. Young Library.

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2003
8 a.m.
, The Graduate School, reception, 18th Floor, Patterson Office Tower.
8:30 a.m., College of Engineering, recognition, Memorial Coliseum, reception, Anderson Hall.
8:45 a.m., College of Communications and Information Studies, recognition, Stoll Field.
9 a.m., College of Human Environmental Sciences, recognition, Singletary Center for the Arts.
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 136th ANNUAL UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY,
Memorial Coliseum.
12:45 p.m., College of Design, recognition, Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main St.
1:30 p.m., College of Agriculture, recognition and reception, Stoll Field.
1:30 p.m., College of Social Work, recognition, Singletary Center for the Arts.
1:30 p.m., School of Public Health, recognition, Student Center Theatre, Student Center.
1:30 p.m., Martin School, recognition, Gallery, William T. Young Library.
2 p.m., Gatton College of Business and Economics, recognition, Memorial Coliseum; reception, Grand Ballroom, Student Center.
2:30 p.m., College of Arts and Sciences, line up, Blazer Hall Cafeteria.
3 p.m., College of Dentistry, convocation for presentation of academic hoods, Memorial Hall.
3:30 p.m., College of Fine Arts, recognition, Singletary Center for the Arts.
4 p.m., College of Arts and Sciences, recognition, Memorial Coliseum.
5 p.m., College of Education, reception and line up, Blazer Hall Cafeteria.
5:30 p.m., College of Health Sciences, recognition, Singletary Center for the Arts.
6:15 p.m., College of Education, recognition, Memorial Coliseum.

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2003
2 p.m.
, College of Medicine, recognition and reception, Singletary Center for the Arts.


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